#1466 The Faustian Bargain of Technological Advancement and Societal Degradation

Air Date: 1–15-2022

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Today we take a look at tradeoffs that are becoming ever more evident between the advancement of mass communication and social media technologies and the ways in which those advancements contribute to the degradation of social cohesion. 

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Ch. 1: Re-musing Ourselves - On the Media - Air Date 3-3-06

The late media critic Neil Postman argued in his seminal book "Amusing Ourselves to Death," that as TV prevailed over the printed word, it impaired our ability to make sense of a world of information. Jay Rosen writes the blog, PressThink.

Ch. 2: Neil Postman Technopoly - C-Span Book TV - Air Date 7-10-92

Neil Postman, author of Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology published by Alfred A. Knopf Publishers, spoke on the theme of his book which noted the dependence of Americans on technological advances for their own security.

Ch. 3: Prescient Predictions 1984; Brave New World; and Network Part 1 - Future Tense - Air Date 7-7-19

The dystopian best-seller 1984 was published exactly seventy years ago. Its influence has been profound. But does it really speak to today’s politico-cultural environment? Scott Stephens believes Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World is a closer match.

Ch. 4: The Trouble With Reality - On The Media - Air Date 5-17-17

This is a conversation between Brooke Gladstone, author of "The Trouble with Reality: A Rumination on Moral Panic in Our Time," and WNYC morning show host Brian Lehrer.

Ch. 5: Prescient Predictions 1984; Brave New World; and Network Part 2 - Future Tense - Air Date 7-7-19

Ch. 6: Neil Postman on Cyberspace - The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour - Air Date 7-25-95

Charlene Hunter-Gault interviews media theorist and cultural critic Neil Postman on PBS' The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour in 1995. Postman discusses new media and the "Faustian bargain" of technological change in the context of the "Information Superhighway."

Ch. 7: Alexa, What's Amazon Doing Inside My Home? - Land of the Giants - Air Date 7-30-19

What’s the downside to letting Alexa run your entire home? And why is Amazon making a microwave oven powered by Alexa?


Ch. 8: Final comments on Faustian Bargains

MUSIC (Blue Dot Sessions):

  • Opening Theme: Loving Acoustic Instrumental by John Douglas Orr 
  • Voicemail Music: Low Key Lost Feeling Electro by Alex Stinnent
  • Activism Music: This Fickle World by Theo Bard (https://theobard.bandcamp.com/track/this-fickle-world)
  • Closing Music: Upbeat Laid Back Indie Rock by Alex Stinnent


Produced by Jay! Tomlinson

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Showing 2 reactions

  • C. Lee Taylor
    commented 2022-01-17 10:29:50 -0500
    Fascinating history. All too much, unknown to me.
  • Jay Tomlinson
    published this page in Episodes 2022-01-15 14:59:09 -0500
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